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Occupy L.A.: Legal observers on hand to document any problems

November 29, 2011 | 11:16 pm


Legal observers from Peace in Action and the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild are on hand at the Occupy L.A. encampment to document any problems, including possible instances of excessive force by police.

Michael Scanlon, an architect from Echo Park, said about 12 people from Peace in Action are armed with clipboards, cameras and will document any problems that might arise from Tuesday night's eviction of protesters from City Hall Park.

"I don't expect any problems from police," Scanlon said. "LAPD has shown they've changed their culture."

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But he said if the eviction turns violent, he doesn't expect it to be from the LAPD's end.

"You can only assume that with youth, they're going to act up," he said.

Observers from the National Lawyers Guild are identifiable by their lime-green hats.

Deputy Police Chief Jose Perez, incident commander for the night's operation, said he had asked lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild -- which has served as an informal intermediary between police and protesters -- to fan out among the protesters and tell them they will have "a reasonable amount of time" to leave the park after the dispersal order is given.

"Those who want to be arrested will be. Those who don't won't," Perez said.

He declined to provide details on when police would order people to disperse.


Protesters set up barriers to block police

Police seal off Civic Center; protesters launch fireworks

LAPD on tactical alert; protesters say eviction imminent

-- Ricardo Lopez and Joel Rubin at City Hall

Photo: Ken Montenegro instructs members of the National Legal Lawyers Guild as they anticipate police to remove protesters from the Occupy L.A. Credit: Jason Redmond / Reuters